A Month in Review: November 2017

Christmas decorations went up as soon as the Thanksgiving dishes were done, or thereabouts.

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I’ve been very distracted by life in general, but here I am!

As fall sets in, it’s been getting colder at night and I’m very grateful for the baseboard heater our landlord gave us when we moved in. It’s not super chilly during the day if the sun is out and it’s not very windy, but we live in one of the coolest climate areas in wine country. The morning fog either takes longer to burn off or solidifies into ice on the car windshield, or both. Daylight fades earlier but, between Thanksgiving, Christmas, and miscellaneous recipe experiments, my kitchen has never been warmer.

The last six months have been… intense. I quit my job, got my first tattoo, did some actual freelance work and got paid for it, started balancing my checkbook again like a responsible adult, and… won NaNoWriMo for the third year in a row!


Here’s all the other things I am currently:


nano-2017-winner-badge… Todd’s story, still, but at a significantly slower pace now that it’s no longer NaNoWriMo. First I thought that I wanted to aim for 100k words total by January, but I just don’t have the energy for that and job searching and Christmas coming up. So I downsized to 75k words by the end of 2017, which feels a lot easier to wrap my head around.

Even though I didn’t finish the story in 50k, I’m pleased with my progress and I think I like this draft a lot better than I liked the last one. I did such a good job plugging my brain back into being a writer again.


… To become more involved in the local LGBT scene, mostly by way of helping out with the Facebook page of a support group for partners of transgender individuals.


… Good progress on regularly meeting my daily water goals. Very healthy.


… Christmas! It’s a bit of a bummer that my aunt and her branch of the family is going to stay in Michigan for Christmas, and it’s a tender subject with my grandma especially, but other than that I’m looking forward to the caroling and the cookies and the warm family dinners and the driving around to see all the pretty light displays. My partner and I do that one every year. Last year I made a lights tour guide for Sonoma County (2016) that was published on a local family magazine website — it’s always fun to drive around and check everything out.


Serenity: Those Left Behind. I read it years ago on my computer, but I was shelving at the library and snagged the hardcopy version to check out.


… Friends, still. And we’re rewatching Buffy The Vampire Slayer, having just finished catching up on the most recent episodes of The Walking Dead.

And omg, I sobbed so hard when blank was cornered by blankers in the blank and was blanked while blank, unable to help due to an injured leg, had to be dragged away screaming. I buried my face in our oldest cat’s fur and cried until she got annoyed with me and left. TWD just kills me sometimes.


… Grateful. I know, it’s cheesily predictable to say I feel grateful in connection with November, but I am. We finally made some cool friends our own age who actually live in the same county, have even more pets than we do, and share some significant key interests.


… More sleep. I don’t know what it is about November, maybe it’s that my brain was constantly buzzing with thoughts about the novel I’m working on. Some nights I just could not settle, and that way leads to texting bad puns about shingles to a friend at 4am.


… How much snugglier the kitties get when the weather gets colder.


… All the sexual allegations that are flying around. First of all, why can’t all of these Hollywood men keep it in their damn pants?

Second, dammit Danny Masterson! That 70’s Show is one of our favorite tv series to play on repeat in the background. How do you reconcile loving a show with the fact that one of the cast members may or may not have violently raped a few people? It’s different with shows that are still ongoing — they can drop the actor like House of Cards did with Kevin Spacey. But with That 70’s Show, after the seventh season when Eric and Kelso take off, Hyde is the only interesting character left. I’m willing to boycott those later seasons because they’re just not as good, but is it bad to watch the earlier seasons? Does that imply support of that one cast member’s awful conduct in his personal life?


… that I can spend this last month of the year surrounded by love and light and all the people who bring joy to my life. (Shamelessly snagging that sentence from Zen & Pi, because it’s a good one.)

I’m not always the best at self-care. Sometimes I can be a workaholic, even when it comes to my hobbies, and I just can’t switch my brain off. At other times, I don’t have the self-confidence or momentum to get going.

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